History of STMA
Shefford Town Memorial Association
For a Growing & Changing Community
The STMA was formed in 1948 when the then Digswell House and its grounds was purchased through the Shefford Town Council from public subscription, in honour of the men and women of Shefford who died or suffered as a result of the second world war for the provision of recreation and educational facilities. A committee of volunteers was formed to oversee its day to day running and management.
In 1963 Digswell house was knocked down and replaced with a more manageable facility on its grounds to include a bar, hall and meeting rooms. There have been numerous changes since its opening on 11th April 1964 to upgrade and expand its facilities to better serve an expanding community it was formed for. In 2017 the front area of the building had a much needed upgrade to provide better toilets, sports changing rooms, kitchen and meeting room.
We already have numerous groups that cater for a wide range of public interests from art to amateur dramatics, bowls to ballet, and fitness to football. There are also a variety pub sports and activities that take place within our bars. The hall also plays host to numerous functions and events and can be booked to the general public for private parties etc and can often be seen full of people celebrating and having fun together.
There’s always something to keep us busy, whether it be maintenance, bookings or making and discussing plans to further develop the STMA for now and for the future.
It’s our aim to continue to uphold the fundamentals the STMA was first formed, to provide an environment that caters for as many people as possible within the local community and actively support and encourage more people to make use of the building and its grounds.
STMA Management Committee
History of Shefford Bowls Club
In 1964 a general meeting was called at the Shefford Town Memorial Association (STMA) with a view to forming a bowls club in Shefford. The meeting was well attended and from it a steering committee was formed with their main objection to raise money for the project. The STMA agreed to allow land to be used for a bowling green. A few meeting were held, and after a while many of the original members fell by the wayside. A new bowls committee was formed with Mr. J R Ford as President and Mr F A G Brunt as Chairman.
A Beds Executive member, Len Davidge, was invited to give advice. Raising the money was the biggest problem, and a working committee was formed to canvass Shefford for donations, in all £78 was raised this being the amount that Shefford Bowls Club started with. Mr. Alf Taylor and Mr. Bob Johns (STMA Officials) secured a grant of £500 from the Playing Fields Association. Various fund raising events were run until enough money was raised to start the project. The then Barclay’s manager (John Bird) thought it was ridiculous to start a project of this size with so little money. En Tou Cas of Leicester laid the green using “Hill side turf” that being the best the budget would allow. It gave a few problems but patience and hard work by members have overcome these and we now have a bowling green and facilities to be proud of.
Probably the most unique event of the club, is that in 1988 the club provided Bedfordshire Bowling Association with both Men’s and Ladies Presidents these being John and Brenda Ford. Over the years improvements and additional facilities have been made to the green most if not all of the work being carried out by members of the club.
The current club has a membership of 60 men and women. The season runs from the end of April until the end of September. The club welcomes new members and offers free coaching to new bowlers as well as additional coaching to existing ones. The club is proud of its friendly spirit and runs social evenings throughout the winter months to enable members to keep in touch.